Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time working to meet some goals and have been really exhausted, to the point that I have skipped out on things like sleeping enough and hanging out with friends. Today’s bracelet is one I plan to wear on days when I’m feeling like I need a little extra motivation to keep working toward my goals and staying sane. The outside of the bracelet says “keep your eye on the prize” and the inside is a personal reminder to relax once in awhile.
aluminum bracelet blank
Wedding Celebration Design Stamps Pack
Metal Stamping Kit with stamping block, chasing hammer, & newsprint letter stamps
fine point permanent marker
ultra fine point permanent marker
bracelet mandrel or a round object to shape your cuff on
Tape your bracelet blank to your stamping block. Mark just past the vertical center of the blank on the masking tape with your ultra fine marker. My blank is 1 inch tall, so I marked my tape 0.6 inches from the top of the blank.
Attach a horizontal piece of tape at the marks you made. Using your ruler as a guide, make tick marks on your tape that mimic the marks on your ruler, and indicate the exact center of your bracelet blank. My blank was 6 inches wide, so my middle point is at 3 inches.
The phrase I used on my bracelet is “keep your eye on the prize”, which is 26 characters long, including spaces. The second e in the word “eye” is the centermost character in my phrase, so I wanted that just to the left of the exact center mark on my tape. In pencil, I worked from the center to write out my phrase on the tape. See the above photo for where I placed my phrase.
Working from the middle, begin stamping your letters onto your bracelet. Don’t know the first thing about metal stamping? Check out my Metal Stamping 101 (which has a video!) and Metal Stamping 201 tutorials.
If you run out of room on your stamping block, carefully shift your tape and bracelet blank as shown to accomodate your stamping.
Carefully peel the ruler tape off of your bracelet and retain it for use in the next phase of the project.
Next, use your fine point marker to color in all of the stamped letters, and use rubbing alcohol to clean off the excess ink. The marker fills in each letter and makes it stand out from the bracelet blank really nicely.
Flip your blank over and spend a couple minutes measuring to find the center of your bracelet blank like you did on the other side. Then, use your fine point marker to write your second phrase on the masking tape right over the pencil letters from the first side. I incorporated a design stamp for a cheeky touch on my bracelet. If you use a design element, you’ll need to count it as an extra character when you count up your phrase characters to find its center.
The back of my bracelet reads “and relax [champagne flute]”, so the center of my back phrase is between the letters r and e of “relax.” I placed the r just to the left of center and the e just to the right. Just like on the first side, I started stamping from the middle and worked my way outward.
If you want to fill in the back with marker, you can do that. Then, flip your bracelet back over and use the rounded end of your chasing hammer to add some texture to the outside of your bracelet by hammering all over the bracelet. Don’t forget to use the stamping block to protect your work surface from the hammering.
Finally, shape your bracelet. Don’t try to simply bend it around your wrist like the first photo below. Doing that will result in a weirdly angular cuff, rather than something shaped more like the letter C.
What you’ll want to do is use a rounded object and rubber mallet to shape your cuff. I don’t own a fancy bracelet mandrel since I’m not a pro jewelry maker, so I grabbed a dusty free weight I had laying around the house. It was almost as big as my wrist and could handle a bit of hammering.
When you’re all done, it should be shaped something like this:
Metal stamping supplies featured in this post were provided by ImpressArt. All opinions are my own. (PS: Regarding the phrase, “keep your eye on the prize”, I’ve always said “eye” and not “eyes,” which a bit of post-project Googling taught me is weird. Whoops! :))